VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach is one step closer to replacing its four oldest schools with three new ones.

Thursday night, people gathered in the Betty F. Williams cafeteria to get a better idea of ​​the plan.

The department will build the new Princess Anne High School and Bayside High School. They also plan to combine Bettie F. Williams Elementary School with the Bayside campus for sixth grade.

Nicola Smith came to provide her input on the early design plan for Williams Primary School and Bayside Sixth Form School.

“I think they’ve done a great job of meeting a lot of the needs of this community,” she said. “This area has some very unique needs because you have to think about the social and economic differences that this building needs to address and then also the neighborhood as it starts to shift and change.”

The redevelopment plan is part of a recent agreement between the Virginia Beach School Board and the Virginia Beach City Council as they move to replace four of the oldest schools in the division.

Related: Virginia Beach Public Schools plans to replace four older buildings in the department

“What spaces are needed to help support 21st century learning? The school we’re in now is almost 75 years old and learning was very different back then,” said Melissa Ingram, executive director of facilities services at VBCPS.

Concept designs for Princess Anne and Bayside High School have been approved, along with Williams Elementary and Bayside 6th, she said.

She said they got a lot of community feedback to make this happen.

“There’s really a lot of pride in the community, a lot of historical components,” she said. “Things they believe will help their students flourish as critical thinkers and future leaders in society.”

Smith said that even though she is no longer a student in the department, she still wants to do her part for future students.

“I think if there are only a few people involved, I don’t think all students will be represented and all needs will be met,” she said. “I think it is very important to have community input in such major decisions that affect not only current students, but also future students who are not yet born.”

She said her son went to Williams Elementary School many years ago. She also worked in the department herself.

“We couldn’t predict 50 or 60 years ago when these buildings were originally built, so I’ve seen a lot of what could happen in schools that we need for the health and well-being of current students, and then how do we do that? We’re thinking in 20,” Smith said. A year from now.”

Princess Anne and Bayside High will be built on their current sites, with Princess Anne School built first. When construction begins on each, students will learn at the old Killam High School.

There are three more community meetings on October 23 at the Bayside Sixth Grade Campus, October 25 at Princess Anne High School, and October 26 at Bayside High School. They all operate from 6 to 7:30 p.m

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